The man is Jiang Guohua, the communist party leader of Mianzhu. He is begging to ask the people to stop protesting.
I saw this image from a Herald Tribute article, wha impressed me was the fact that a political man was asking in that way. A man of power which could have just sent some police man ( will he do it later?) is begging normal people. Probably very few things are stronger than an angry mother. Probably thay feel guilty because many public building did not resist. Architecture failed to fullfill its prime function:protection.